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How To Do Landscaping Maintenance and Pruning

Landscaping maintenance is essential for upkeeping the appearance of your landscape design. But did you also know that landscaping maintenance provides immense, long-term financial and health benefits? Pruning in particular is an important element of landscaping preservation and requires a few tactics to be done correctly.

Why is landscaping maintenance important?

The benefits of landscaping maintenance far surpass pretty scenery. If you decide to put the investment into landscaping itself, it’s extremely worth it to maintain its upkeep

A few of the additional benefits include:

  • Increasing your home’s value
  • Prospective buyers will find the property more attractive
  • If for sale, lessens the time the property is available on the market
  • Heating and cooling costs are decreased
  • Provides cleaner air and filters pollutants
  • Encourages an active lifestyle for your family
  • Decreases stress levels by access to nature and beautiful scenery
  • Gives privacy

The process of landscaping maintenance includes elements such as lawn care, garden maintenance, fertilization, seasonal clean-ups and pruning.  

What is pruning?

Pruning involves the process of selectively cutting off sections of trees, flowers and other plants to improve the overall health and appearance of the plant. When done in combination with landscaping, pruning directs the growth of plants so that the aesthetics from the original landscaping are preserved. 

For trees in particular, it can also save from issues related to damages from broken branches. It’s especially important to maintain tree growth to avoid them coming on your roof or getting entangled in power lines. 

What are the different types of pruning?

There are four major types of pruning that should be incorporated into landscaping maintenance. All of them have a specific purpose and should be done on a seasonal basis according to each plant’s life cycle.

Thinning

Thinning involves getting rid of extra limbs and stems in a healthy manner so that the plant is reduced down to its original size. For example, this can be done to let more light in through a tree canopy or on plants located on a decorative fence or lattice.

Cleaning

Cleaning is the fine-tuning of plants by cutting out dead, diseased or damaged plant parts so that their appearance is much more cleaned out. Think of it a bit like a hair cut: plants also look refreshed in the same manner as when a hairdresser removes split ends.

Reduction

Reduction means cutting the tree or plant back to reduce its height or width. Not only does this keep the design looking sharp, but it can also stop plants from taking over another area and trees falling into areas they don’t belong.

Structural pruning

Structural pruning uses a combination of the above methods to result in a plant’s best overall health and appearance.

When to prune

The best time to prune in the US is typically towards the end of winter and early spring when plants are experiencing current growth. You can also use this time to relocate plants if necessary. Keep track of plant life cycles in order to understand when the appropriate time is.

Tips for pruning and other landscaping maintenance

Although pruning is an essential element of landscape maintenance, pruning does take specific strategies to know how to do it correctly. In addition to pruning at the appropriate time of year, it’s important not to prune too much and end up destroying the plant. Here are a few tips for getting started.

Pruning a tree

Experts suggest not to remove more than 30% of a tree’s live foliage at one time, otherwise there is risk of killing the tree. The majority of tree pruning involves making changes to the crown, otherwise known as the main leaves and branches located at the top. Depending on the purpose, the crown can be lifted, thinned or reduced. To ensure that your tree pruning produces the best possible result:

  • Don’t prune elements at the top of the crown and focus on the bottom. 
  • Avoid removing all branches and leaves from larger stems because this can affect the tree’s ability to stand up against the wind.
  • Remove branches that are small in diameter but only at a level that doesn’t disturb the tree’s overall structure.
  • Aim for pruning with a consistent line of branches to match the tree’s natural shape to maintain balance.     

Pruning flowers

Flowers have a wide range of differences when it comes to blooming. So, this always needs to be taken into account when doing pruning. For both fruit bearing and flowering plants some tips to achieve the best end result include:

  • Removing old buds directly after flowering so that new buds have a better chance of developing.
  • For fruit bearing plants, take off gray and slow-growing shoots which have no chance of developing into fruit.
  • Lessening disease pressure and stress by using general pruning methods.
  • For roses in particular, opening the plant’s center increases the penetration of air and sunlight so that they are healthier.

Pruning shrubs

Pruning shrubs is one of the easier elements of pruning and typically involves thinning and allowing the plant to rejuvenate. Some suggestions for pruning shrubs include:

  • Reducing twigs to the parent stem or ground level to encourage side branch growth.
  • Using hand pruning shears to remove the oldest  and tallest stems in order to maintain a specific height and symmetrical shape.
  • Encouraging shrub rejuvenation by cutting off about one-third of the older and taller branches at ground level in advance of new growth.

Make note of your plant’s life cycles

A key part of pruning is knowing when to do it. Different plants may have extremely different life cycles, so it’s important to keep a list for what needs to be pruned and when. This can be used as a timeline and to-do list so you can plan the scope of your landscaping maintenance, including your budget. Good landscape designs in general try to minimize landscape maintenance while maximizing a beautiful appearance. When in doubt, call the experts for guidance.

Moscarino: landscaping maintenance services in Ohio

For large scale and commercial landscape designs, landscaping maintenance can prove to be a hefty load. Moscarino provides comprehensive landscaping maintenance services in Northeast Ohio and Cleveland, including fertilization, pruning, garden maintenance and much more.

Hardscaping Landscaping for Backyard Privacy

Searching for a way to add a bit more privacy to your backyard? Hardscaping landscaping involves the use of material structures that does just that. No matter whether it’s fencing, trees or stone walls, hardscaping can be combined with living elements to create a backyard that is both comfortable to use and beautiful to view.

What is hardscaping?

Hardscaping is the process of adding any non-living decorative or material structure to a landscape design. It includes elements such as:

What is the difference between hardscaping and landscaping?

The intention of hardscaping is to define spacing and add centralized organization to landscape designs. It sections off certain elements for use (a patio) and non-use (a fountain), as well as leads visitors in the correct direction through the landscaping structure (pathways). Hardscaping is also a great way to provide privacy to living areas like backyards. 

The other element of landscaping is known as softscaping. Softscaping includes all the living elements of landscape design such as trees, flowers and plants. The combination of both falls under the umbrella of landscaping.

Hardscaping landscaping for backyard privacy

Hardscaping is a fantastic way to add add privacy to spaces that would otherwise be more public. Backyards are where families often spend a lot of time, and it’s not so nice if you have neighbors or passersby peering in all the time. Hardscaping uses structural designs that enhance privacy in your own spaces so that can relax and be yourself.

A lattice as a privacy screen

A lattice is a fence-like structure that uses a criss-cross design of wood or other materials. It can be combined with a plant such as ivy to both soften the look of the hardscape, but also increase the level of privacy. A lattice can provide an interesting texture to the total landscape design and also lets in bits of light to brighten the surroundings. 

Stone or brick walls

Other types of retaining walls can have an even more definitive effect on privacy because they completely block out light as well as have a noise cancelling effect. A low maintenance form of hardscaping, retaining walls help reduce erosion and keep softscape elements in place. Higher retaining walls lock in privacy and can be stylishly designed with patterns and softscape elements to create the ideal blend.

Combine a pergola with softscape elements

A pergola is a bit similar to a gazebo, but has a much more “unfinished” look. It’s a minimalistic structure that uses four beams to hold up a lattice roof. They can be both raised and located at ground-level, creating living area spaces for dining and sitting.

Pergolas too offer a design and privacy element. Softscape elements can be placed on the pergola itself, or in the surrounding area. Layering additional softscape elements adds to the privacy effect. Mixing a variety of privacy plants, shrubs and trees results in an elegant and secluded setting.

Use trees to your advantage 

If trees already exist in your backyard, you can utilize this to your advantage because trees are nature’s privacy screens. You can section off an area with a tree and create a nook underneath them with a pergola. Depending on the location, you can add a fence with softscape decorative elements or shrubs that cover the surrounding area. Section off the area through additional hardscape elements like adding a patio for seating and a walkway to get there.

Construct plants to act as a privacy fence

If you’re looking to keep your design more natural, you can use medium or tall plants to give an area more privacy. Mix up the coloring and texture of the area with different plant types in clusters. These can also be backed by trees or larger shrubs to multiply the privacy effect. An additional seating area like a patio now becomes much more discreet.

Bamboo fencing  

Bamboo is a fantastic material to use for fencing because it’s sturdy and grows quickly. Similarly to a lattice, bamboo lets in slight lighting elements, but also acts as a privacy screen. Additional softscape laying of plants and shrubs thicken the fencing while also giving your backyard a true feeling of “zen”.

Fountains or water elements block out noise 

Privacy also includes a noise factor. You can keep external noise out, as well as keep your communication more private through water elements. Fountains are a fantastic way to do this because the noise of the water cancels out other noises. Combine water elements, a patio and softscape elements to create a truly enriching backyard scene.

Hardscaping for small backyards

Hardscaping is not limited to large spaces. It’s still possible in small backyards to increase privacy as well as achieve a better design ambiance. The key is to include vertical space in your design thinking. Use softscape elements like trees, tall shrubs and hanging planters from walls or fences. A combination of hanging planters, a raised area like a pedestal and hanging gardens can draw attention upward and enlarge the area. Pavement can also use a curved structure to give the give the illusion that there’s even more space.

How much does hardscaping cost?

There is no one price for hardscaping landscaping because the projects vary widely in capacity. Each project comes with its own rate depending on elements such as: the type of services the landscaping contractor provides, how often they will do these services, as well as quality. Low pricing is not necessarily a bargain deal to jump on, because you can end up with bad results. It’s highly recommended to choose more experienced landscaping service providers to ensure the best possible results

Moscarino: an experienced hardscaping contractor in Ohio

Quality is of the utmost importance to Moscarino, a highly experienced landscaping contractor providing services throughout Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. As a hardscaping expert, Moscarino provides comprehensive hardscaping services that seamlessly blends natural and structural elements. This includes beginning with 2D and 3D computer designs that help create a budget and timeline that works for you, as well as installing all hardscaping structures for immediate use after project completion. 

Simplify Your Garden Maintenance

For most people, simple law maintenance is not a fun task. While you may have green fingers when it comes to planting new things and watching them grow – maintenance is a whole different ballgame.

What are the things you need to do maintain a healthy garden?

Mowing your lawn is of course essential, and often also the most dreaded part of looking after your garden. But not only does it make your garden look better, it also helps avoid any future, bigger jobs, and it keeps your garden healthy and free of damaging insects.

Mowing your lawn is not needed as often in the cold months, but it is none the less an important part of your overall garden.

Watering Your Garden
Generally, you’ll be able to tell whether or not you will need to water your garden. With plenty of rainfall happening on a regular basis, it won’t be needed. However, if you do get a few days of scorching heat and no rain, it is better to get to watering your garden sooner rather than later.
As a general rule, your lawn needs at least 1”-1 ½” of water per week, year-round.

Making Time for Looking After Your Garden
Looking after your garden or lawn doesn’t have to be a big and time-consuming task. All you will need is a couple of hours of work each weekend, and you should be good to go!

If you have kids, consider making them part of it by helping them hold the hose or raking the lawn with you. Kids love to be outside, and it is a super easy way of getting together outside as a family. Explain to them that in order to see improvements when growing new and exciting trees and plants, the lawn needs to be looked after as well! It needs to stay healthy.

Do you have questions about your landscaping contract? Or are you looking for a good landscaping company in Cleveland? If so, you can reach us by phone at 440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website. We’re also available to answer any questions that you may have!

What You Need to Know About Landscape Contracts and Pricing

Landscape contracts can differ quite a bit from one company to another. Why is there such a large variance in price? Well, each company includes different service in their contracts, and each of those services isbilled at a different rate. Let’s go over some of the most common things that are involved in setting the prices for these services.

Service Coverage

The number one thing to examine in the contract is the numberof services included. There should be details in this section. What’s covered? By this we mean – what will the company do for you? Will they weed your flower beds? Will they fertilize your lawn? Or does the contract just cover basic mowing and edging? You need to look closely to see exactly what the landscaping company is going to cover, according to the contract.

Service Frequency

On top of the services that are covered, the contract should include information about how often those things will be done. Some, like fertilizer, forexample, will be done once or twice a year, depending on the season. If this is included in the contract, then don’t expect to see it listed as a monthly service. However, other tasks, like lawn mowing, weeding, and other things, should be done more often, again, depending on the season. The set frequency for everything needs to make sense, and this should be clearly explained in the contract.

Reliability and Quality

These two things – reliability and quality – are not in the contract per se. However, they are reflected in the overall price. Any landscaping company that offers discounts that are too good to be true are more than likely cutting corners somewhere. Their equipment may not be properly maintained, or they might not be hiring trained employees. This doesn’t mean that you need to hire the most expensive company, but that you need to be aware that prices that are too low are usually too good to be true for one reason or another.

Putting It All Together

Finally, you need to put those three items, the services offered, their frequency, and the overall reliability and quality of the company, together. Once you look at them as part of the whole picture, ask yourself if the prices on the proposed contract make sense.

Do you have questions about your landscaping contract? Or are you looking for a good landscaping company in Cleveland? If so, you can reach us by phone at440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website. We’re also available to answer any questions that you may have.

Landscaping Trends for Commercial Properties

Commercial properties are subject to trends just as much as residential properties are. The main differences lie in the types of plants and overall design elements that appear as trends. This makes sense, as the owners of commercial properties have different goals. They want landscapingthat enhances the look of their properties, but for a lower price point. Here are two trends that can help commercial property owners meet that goal.

Energy Efficiency

The very first trend on the list is energy efficiency. There are several different ways to go about this. For example, a yard that’s lined with trees, especially some that are close to the building, can provide shade that lowers air conditioning costs in the summer. In addition, lighting that’s powered by small solar panels can be placed outdoors. This way, your workers and customers will be able to see the path, while at the same time you don’t have to pay for extra electricity. Many of these light fixtures are quite attractive, and the solar panels can be easily concealed so that they don’t detract from the plants in your flowerbeds. Also, modernizing your irrigation system can save you money, while keeping your landscaping in better shape at the same time.

Low Maintenance Plants

The next trend involves plants that are very low maintenance. These will cut down on the time that is spent servicing them – saving you money. Ideally, you want plants that are designed for your local climate, as they are much easier to care for. Plus, choosing perennials (plants that live for more than season) over annuals can make a big difference. The plants won’t have to be replaced every year, which costs less. It’s also much easier to maintain a perennialbecause these plants are much less fussy. They are hardy and designed to stay alive no matter the season (although some hibernate during Ohio winters and might need to undergo some winterization methods.) For lawns, choosing grasses that are hardy and drought resistant will go a long way towards making it easy to care for your landscaping. Plus, there are ornamental grasses that are just as easy to care for – and they’ll add a little pizzazz to your yard.

Do you want to take advantage of these commercial property trends? If so, you can reach us by phone at440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website. We’re also available to answer any questions that you may have.

Important Facts about the Five Different Types of Lawn Fertilizer

There are five main types of lawn fertilizer. You’ve no doubt seen them in stores or asked your local lawn care company about them. Before you purchase (or hire a company to apply) lawn fertilizer, you first need to know the ins and outs of each variety.

1) Slow release fertilizer

Slow release fertilizers do exactly what their name implies – they slowly release nutrients into the soil supporting your lawn. In some cases, this type of fertilizer consists of organic ingredients, but in most, the granules are coated with a type of polymer that slowly wears away, releasing the fertilizer in the process. Since slow-release fertilizer is effective for quite some time, it doesn’t need to be applied as often. With that said, this type is slightly more expensive than others.

2) Weed and feed

Weed and feed is a lawn fertilizer with a name that says it all. It contains chemicals that kill off any weeds that grow in your lawn (even if they aren’t visible yet), while at the same time, it feeds your grass, making it healthy and strong. The weed-killing component is usually made of an herbicide like MCPP or Dicamba, while the fertilizer consists of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. This type of fertilizer should only be applied to your lawn twice each year.

3) Fast release fertilizer

Fast release fertilizer is also known as a quick release. Most types consist mainly of nitrogen and a few other chemicals. The best thing about fast release fertilizers is that they start working right away to strengthen your grass. They are also very effective and less expensive than the other versions. With that said, it’s very easy to burn your lawn by over-applying them, and they only last for between two to four weeks on the soil.

4) Liquid fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer is commonly used by many professional lawn care companies. Because it’s liquid, the application process needs to be carefully monitored in order to ensure that it goes on evenly. On top of this, many companies make their own mixes, using a careful ratio of nitrogen and other chemicals.

5) Fertilizer made from organic materials

Organic lawn fertilizer consists of natural – not synthetic – materials. These can be everything from manure to other plans and animal byproducts. Before you choose an organic fertilizer, take the time to fully read the packaging to ensure that it meets your lawn’s needs.

Add Some Color to Your Commercial Landscaping With These Suggestions

Does your Cleveland commercial landscaping lack color? It’s too easy to just make your green space look, well, green, thanks to some well-trimmed grass and a few hedges. However, adding in some color can make your landscaping stand out from everyone around you. It might even attract some new clients and customers since the exterior of your business will look more visually appealing. Here are some useful ways to add a bit of color to your yard.

Use Hardscaping

Hardscaping is one of the last things that commercial property owners think of, but it really can add some color to your landscaping. What is hardscaping? It’s a landscaping term for the bricks, paving stones, and other non-plant items that are used to create borders and patios. Choosing colorful paving stones or even neutral colored bricks for your commercial property will really make it stand out amongst a sea of mostly green grass and plants.

Include Some Outdoor Furnishings

Outdoor furnishings, like small chairs and a patio table, can go a long way towards making your commercial property look inviting. It also adds some color to your storefront or lawn. These chairs and tables are designed to be outdoors, so they won’t have to be brought in during rainstorms. They also come in an array of colors, making it easy to find ones that will complement the rest of your landscaping.

Plant Some Colorful Flowers

You can have your commercial landscaping company in Cleveland plant some flowers for you. This is the easiest way to add some color to your property. There are many different types of flowers to choose from – so many that you might become overwhelmed. This is why you should ask your commercial landscaping company to handle the task for you. They can create a pleasing, colorful arrangement of them in your flower beds.

Have Lights Installed

Outdoor lights are another great way to spice up your commercial property. The proliferation of solar powered outdoor lights makes this even bettersince they won’t run up your company’s electric bill. Outdoor lights come in an array of colors and styles, ensuring that you’ll be able to find one that looks great with the rest of your landscaping and hardscaping.

Are you ready to add some color to your commercial landscaping in Cleveland? If so, you can reach us by phone at440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website. We’re also available to answer any questions that you may have.

 

Mulching In Spring: Five Reasons Why This is the Best Season For It

Spring is the best time to mulch in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, many people believed that this landscaping chore should have been completed in the fall. After all, it insulates the ground throughout the winter – right? Actually, this line of thinking is incorrect. Spring is indeed the best time to spread mulch on your flower bedsand around any shrubberies on your commercial property. Here are five reasons why.

1) It Stabilizes Your Soil

Mulch can prevent water erosion, as it’s designed to keep soil in place no matter the conditions. If you’ve been in Cleveland for a while, then you probably realize that it rains more than anything else (except snow.) The last thing that you want is for your plant’s root systems to be exposed after a rainstorm, so make sure that your mulch is in place before one of our many rainy seasons.

2) The Ground Temperature is regulated

Perhaps the best thing about mulch is the fact that it regulates the ground temperature. It insulates the ground during the winter (which is why people think it should be spread in the fall), but it also keeps the soil cool in the summer.

3) Mulch Keeps Weeds from Spreading

Anyone who has spent time landscaping in Cleveland knows that weeds tend to grow throughout the spring and summer months – sometimes into the fall – and not during the winter. This means that the mulch that you had a commercial landscaping company spread in the spring will keep those weeds at bay during the entire growing season.

4) It Retains Moisture

Not only does mulch regulate your ground temperature and stabilize the soil, but it also retains moisture. You won’t have to worry about your soil drying out on the hot summer days. While your landscaping will still need a bit of water, the soil won’t dry out as much as it would without mulch.

5) Mulch Looks Nice

Not only does mulch serve a number of different purposes, but it also looks nice. It makes the yard of your commercial property look as though it’s complete and well cared for.

Do you want to plan ahead and schedule your spring commercial landscaping service now? Or do you have any questions on the best time to mulch in Cleveland, Ohio? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then you need to contact us. You can reach us by phone at440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website. We’re here for you!

Four Commercial Landscaping Trends You Need To Know About

Commercial landscaping in Cleveland, Ohio doesn’t always follow the trends, although it should. The trends described here can work for many different types of businesses, and are designed to help you save some money on your utility bills while making your commercial property stand out at the same time. The best part is that even though these are described as “trends” they’ll more than likely stay around for a while.

1) Energy Efficient Landscaping

This sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, but we assure you – it’s not. Energy efficient landscaping is designed to take advantage of nature at its finest, by including local plants and designing your yard in a way that requires much less maintenance. In turn, this uses up less energy in the form of lawnmowers and other powered devices.

2) Drought Resistant Plants

Although Cleveland, Ohio is not likely to go through a drought anytime soon, thanks to the amounts of precipitation that we receive, it’s still a good idea to include some drought resistant plants in your garden. These include rosemary, lavender, and juniper, all of which look nice and require much less water than their counterparts.

3) Versatile and Multipurpose Landscaping

The best thing about versatile landscaping is the fact that it can be changed regularly. This is done through the use of containers. Many plants will thrive in a container, and they can be moved around at will, making it easy to switch things up based on your mood that day. Containers work well in multipurpose landscaping, which is the other half of this trend. These multipurpose spaces do double duty, such as create a tranquil break area for employees to enjoy, while looking nice for customers at the same time.

4) Distinctive Designs

Some commercial properties in Cleveland choose to let their landscaping do the talking. This means that the designs are distinctive. Imagine seeing a storefront surrounded by well-trimmed hedges or colorful flowers that are arranged in a pleasing pattern. These designs stand out for a good reason. They’ll help your business do the same. Everyone will notice the company with the well-designed and obviously cared-for landscaping.

We’re your Cleveland, Ohio landscaping company. If you’re ready to use some of these commercial landscaping trends on your property, give us a call. We can be reached by phone at440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Choose Snow Removal Service

Sometimes it seems as though picking the right commercial snow removal service is easier said than done. You want a company that’s reliable, as well as affordable, but it’s hard to determine those two factors from a Google search alone. And speaking of Google searches – doing one more than likely turns up several dozen commercial snow removal companies in your area alone. How do you know which company to choose? Here’s how to get started, as well as some things to look for:

Ask Around for Referrals

Start your search for a commercial snow removal service by asking around for referrals. Check out who the businesses nearby use. You can also ask your friends and family to see if they’ve heard of a good, reliable company. If nothing else, this will help you develop an initial list of businesses to contact.

Find a Company that Is Willing to Answer Your Questions

You no doubt have a lot of questions about what the snow removal service covers, how soon they come out after it snows, and the levels of service that they offer. The best companies will be willing to go over all of this with you. They’ll answer your questions thoroughly and explain every detail of their service. If the company representative doesn’t seem to have the time available to do this, or they refuse to answer your questions, then move on to the next business on your list.

Check Their References

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a handful of companies, your next task is to check their references. You’re looking for two things here – satisfied customers and the amount of experience that the business has. They should be willing to give you the contact information of a few customer references who can vouch for their service. This will show the extent of their trustworthiness. In addition to this, you can either ask those references how long the company has been in business, or do a little searching on your own. The best companies are the ones who’ve been around for years and have tackled many different types of snowstorms.

Now that you know how choose a commercial snow removal service, remember that we’re there for you! We can answer any questions that you may have. Please call us at 440-236-9000 or via the contact form on our website for more information.

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